Almost 8 years in this business means I’ve seen a LOT of weddings. Almost every situation you can think of…the good, the bad, and all the tiny little details in-between…I’ve seen it. As one of the only vendors that couples spend the most time with, I get asked for advice a lot (that’s one of the reasons I started blogging Tip Tuesdays, and why I’ve compiled the list below). No one likes to think about the fact that mistakes can arise on a wedding day, but these little mistakes are totally understandable! They had to happen to be learned from so I’m passing on the wisdom…thank a veteran bride today! They aren’t necessarily photography related, but valuable nonetheless 🙂 Enjoy!
10. Not having comfortable shoes to change into | As a lover of heels, and seriously everything Louboutin, my feet can only take it so long! As a bride, it shouldn’t be something you have to worry about. My recommendation is if your wedding shoes are super gorgeous but not exactly primed for 10 hours of wear, bring something to change into after the ceremony. There is nothing wrong with having your heels for photos, but dancing the night away in a cute pair of sandals or flats. Rest those toes 🙂
9. Drinking too much | We all enjoy a cocktail or two (or three?) but your wedding day is not the best day to overindulge. Sure, having a few drinks at your reception is a time-honored tradition, but getting so sloshed that you throw up right before the ceremony is a big no-no. Keep it classy, ya’ll.
8. Not having a hair/makeup trial done | It’s no surprise that most of us are really picky about how our face and hair looks…we all have a certain “look” that we like (I’m pretty sure my insides are sassy southern girl…I love big hair), so leaving it up to the morning of the big day to figure out what you want to look like may cause you (and your hair/makeup artist) more stress than you need! Just like your photographer, your HMUA is a kick-butt professional, but not a mind reader. Having your trials done ahead of time gives you time to choose a look that you love and takes the stress away from that part of the day. I highly recommend having your makeup trial done on the day of your engagement session…not only will you look like a rockstar for your photos, but also give you a chance to see what your makeup looks like on camera. Win-win! (On a personal note: I didn’t have a hair trial done when I got married, and I hated my hair. Nothing against the stylist, because she was so talented, the hair style just wasn’t “me”. Take a lesson from my mistake and have your trials done ahead of time!)
7. Caring about everyone else’s opinion | It can be so, so hard to plan a wedding and not take into account everyone else’s opinion, especially is said people are helping you plan/pay for the wedding. Just remember that this is your big day. The wedding you’ve been dreaming of since you were little, the wedding you will talk about every year as your anniversary rolls around, and the wedding you will someday show your grandchildren as you pass down old photographs of you joyfully laughing in each other’s arms. I think it’s important to keep from hurting someone’s feelings, but also to remember that it’s ok to stand up for something you really, really want (or don’t want) for your wedding day. Find a balance you are comfortable with, and have fun planning…the engagement season of your life is so short, so enjoy it!
6. Not eating | As a lover of all the food, I’ve never quite understood when people forget to eat…until I got married. There is so much going on with the hustle and bustle of the day, and adding in to the fact that nerves are at an all time high, eating can be the last thing on your list of things to do. But it should be at the top! It will help keep your stomach calm and your nerves even calmer, and when the reception rolls around, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to eat the food you spent time picking out and paying for! All of those delicious food tastings shouldn’t be for nothing!
5. Not meeting with vendors beforehand/Not planning a timeline for the day | Let me just start this by saying I do both. I lumped these together because I feel it’s important to say that if you aren’t meeting with your vendors prior to the wedding, it may be hard to plan for the wedding day. Not every vendor requires a pre-wedding meeting, but as your photographer, I insist on it. I love getting to know you before you book (and giving you a chance to get to know me), I love getting to know you at your engagement session, and I love having a final meeting before the wedding to plan your timeline for you. I create custom timelines for all of my clients, because I’m a firm believer in the fact that I should be the one that worries about keeping you on schedule…not you. You should be able to relax, while I handle the rest!
4. Not taking a few minutes the entire day to be together alone | A few years ago, I had a bride and groom (Hey, Fallon and Mike!) that wanted to work just 5 minutes of alone time into their timeline, so that the hustle and bustle of the day didn’t have a chance to overwhelm them…they just wanted to remember what the day was all about. This idea was just so awesome to me that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it first! I often hear brides and grooms saying they regret not doing this the day of their wedding and just knowing what an impact it could have had. From the time you wake up on your wedding day, to the time you leave your reception, you are surrounded by people. Lots and lots of amazing people who love you. However, because you are celebrating a marriage that day, YOUR marriage, don’t you think taking a few minutes alone with that person should be at the top of the list? Now, whenever possible, I encourage couples to take a few minutes alone during the wedding day to just BE. If I have to work it into the timeline, I will!
3. Overthinking and not enjoying the day | You’ve spent months of planning and you have wonderful, professional vendors….let us handle it from here! One of the reasons I like to meet before-hand and create a timeline for my clients is to reassure you that I can handle that part of the day for you. Your photography is covered. I encourage you to communicate with your vendors and then trust them! A good, quality, professional wedding vendor always has your back…our jobs are more than that, and it’s truly a joy to watch you relax and soak in every second of such a phenomenal moment in your life. You don’t want to look back on your memories of your wedding day and just remember how tense you were! We’ve got you 🙂
2. Not hiring a videographer (or skimping on important vendors) | We all have an idea on what we deem important, as that can be a super objective word, however, this vendor specifically can add a lot of value to your wedding day. I didn’t hire a videographer when I got married, and totally wish I had. I have beautiful photos from my wedding day, but zero video, which means I’ll always be able to see my husband’s face when he saw me walking down the aisle, but I’ll never hear our vows, or his laughter, or me awkwardly laughing through tears as we said “I do”, or any of our friends or family enjoying themselves at our reception. Big regret. My advice: Ask around for recommendations from friends and your vendors that you’ve already hired. I give recommendations all the time to my brides because helping you make sure you have the wedding of your dreams is important to me too!
Last but not least, the number one regret? Everyone said they wish they’d really seen the investment and value in hiring a really good, well-seasoned photographer. We are all different, so I’m not saying I should be the photographer you hire (although, I would love to be your photographer!), but do your research, look at different styles, and choose a photographer who’s work speaks to you and 50 years from now you know you’ll still adore every single image.
P.S. Let’s just all agree to stay off of Pinterest 🙂 While it’s a great place to gain inspiration, that I can admittedly spend hours on, it can also be a big black hole of unrealistic expectations. In order for that picture you admire on Pinterest to have taken place, a whole myriad of things had to happen all at once. Just as when I’m shooting your wedding portraits…I’ll never be able to recreate that exact same shot of the two of you ever again because the lighting was in just the right place, your laughter was real and genuine, and there are no other two “you’s” in the world.